Strap business is based on changing straps very frequently due to their lower quality or overall weak performance of the materials. Lets overview main materials used for straps:
To manufacture a leather strap, one must first source leather. Unfortunately, it can only come from an animal. Moreover, it needs a lot of time and resource intense treatment just to get to a proper condition for crafting the strap.
Quality leather watch strap takes a long time and a lot of effort to make just to be thrown away after one year of daily use. Such strap should cost at least 150 USD.
When we talk about lower quality leather, more harmful to the environment, but it is cheaper to manufacture due to a faster process. Vegetable tanned leather is longer to make, thus making more expensive.
Wearing leather strap
Basically, either you get it custom and perfect or it will be too tight or too loose. If it gets tight you will sweat, if it is too loose — it will slide all over the wrist. In both cases it’s not comfortable. It wears out quite quickly unless you let it dry out after wearing every day and use high quality leathers. How there can be leather straps that can cost 1 USD a piece?
Lots of luxury brands source straps for as low as 10 USD for crocodile and 2 USD for simple leather then sell you it for few hundred dollars.
Metallurgy has been on earth for a couple of thousand years. Process of sourcing metal oar and making material is one of most energy and water intense processes.
Metals are stiff and not easy to match your wrist size. It is the same case as with leather straps, only this time it is heavier, more expensive to make and loses new looks more easily. You can have it made of precious metals, but at the end it is not breathable and you will feel heat or cold due to metal thermal conductive properties.
Considering oil fueled materials, such as rubber, they are more stretchable than leather or metal, they are not that durable compared to metals and they don’t feel nice to touch. You always feel the cold from them, same as from metal.
Apple made their rubber bands for sport with lots of holes for them to breathe and they have to be washed every time after use.
Overall, it is colder than your hand, tends to sweat, collect dust, break in pieces if damaged. You feel that something else is on a wrist. Also it is the same thing as a car tire, just compositions and colors are being changed. In addition, it usually costs the same as leather strap, despite the fact that it is easier to make.
There is one category that is comfortable and durable. Soldiers use plastic bands like Velcro based or NATO straps. Also, they are cheep to make.
The disadvantage is that plastic overall is not sustainable and is drying out slowly, doesn't cope well with tear and bacteria.
It is a good, cheep and functional strap used by many watch brands to lower the costs even more. It definitely has a good use case. But comfort is not there, and distinctive looks makes it use case sensitive.
But is there a better solution?
As innovation moves forward, so does this industry — it has a new technology. Luxurious yet affordable with all the best properties of earlier mentioned materials, but without disadvantages of each.
Merino wool strap
Now you can use a non-allergic, natural, sustainable, breathable merino wool for your watch strap. You can buy them at www.someloops.com
Wearing Some Loops
Merino wool is very breathable at the same time is controlling skin temperature on a hand. This material is very popular in activities where there is a need to be warm or cold but stay dry.
You get strong but a bit stretchy feeling while it is adapting to your wrist movements, so you can always find the perfect fit for your wrist.
On the sustainability part wool is a product of nature and has been used by humans for centuries. Today we use this material for many applications. Merino wool is the finest wool, so there is no question about quality, itching or allergies. No heavy chemicals are being used to make it.
Durability is very high due to strong bonds and higher industrial density of the felt. Basically, this kind of density is used for heavy duty high friction work (like polishing metals), so you can imagine that rubbing your hand on a table or doing something more demanding won’t have a huge impact on it.
Comfort is very high. It feels like you almost don’t have a watch on your wrist. Lightness, softness and your own skin natural temperature makes it very comfortable. Closest to that would be buying a fine cashmere or Merino wool sweater and wearing it on a naked body.
Proprietary technology allows wool to be connected to metal structures without loosing looks or adding unnecessary materials and processes.
All in all, this innovation is designed for humans and nature.
Pick your color and try it out!